Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
I have come to the conclusion that all the news reporting and commentary on the Obama-McConnell tax compromise is ignoring the (GOP) elephant in the room. It is all sound and fury to obscure the central issue of our time with which this country has yet to come to grips: a major political party is waging an insurgency war against America. As I have said before:
Republicans are engaged in a class war against the rest of America. This is an insurrection by the wealthy elites against 98% of their fellow American citizens... Republican insurrectionists are holding our government hostage in bad faith for purposes of extortion.
President Obama acknowledged the criminality of Republicans during his press conference on Tuesday:
"I've said before that I felt that the middle class tax cuts were being held hostage to the high end tax cuts. I think it's tempting not to negotiate with hostage takers unless the hostage gets harmed. Then, people will question the wisdom of that strategy. In this case the hostage was the American people and I was not willing to see them get harmed."
It is not enough for you to recognize the criminality, Mr. President. You must confront it. America does not pay ransom to hostage takers and extortionists. To do so only encourages more hostage taking and more extortionary ransom demands to be paid. Americans will not support any president who accedes to the demands of hostage takers and extortionists. Just ask Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan's Iran-Contra "arms for hostages" co-conspirators.
This is why so many Americans across the ideological spectrum from the liberal left to the far-right Tea Party were so furious over the bailout of the banksters of Wall Street. These gangsters who turned Wall Street into a criminal syndicate of casino capitalism threatened to destroy the world's financial system and economy if they were not rescued by the U.S. government. The government paid the ransom and thus rewarded their criminally irresponsible behavior in the interest of preventing collateral damage to the gangsters' "hostages," the American taxpayer, who ultimately are paying their own ransom.
These banksters of Wall Street took their taxpayer funded government ransom money and paid themselves excessive bonuses for a "job well done," while millions of American taxpayers suffered the consequences of the banksters' criminally irresponsible behavior by losing their jobs and their homes, and then getting stuck with the bill.
These gangsters were not satisfied with this ransom. Oh no, they wanted more. They next took our political process hostage with the help of a conservative activist U.S. Supreme Court in Citizens United v. FEC. Millionaires and billionaires, who will never have to disclose their identity, bought themselves a Congress for Christmas to ensure they will have a compliant Congress that will keep paying their extortionary ransom demands. America's media conglomerates profited handsomely from all the political advertising. I am sure that the millionaire news anchors of America's cable and network television stations will all receive a healthy end-of-year bonus as well.
And now it has come to this. The hostage takers are back again making yet another extortionary demand for ransom: tax cuts for the "two percenters" and a sweetheart deal on the estate tax for the über-rich. "Give us what we demand or we will kill any tax benefits for America's middle class, and we will kill our hostages, America's unemployed." President Obama is acceding to the extortionary demands of these hostage takers to save the lives of their hostages. While his humanity and compassion are laudable, it is also misplaced.
By acceding to the hostage takers' extortionary demands now, it will only encourage more hostage taking and more extortionary ransom demands in the future. These gangsters will take America's most vulnerable and elderly populations hostage next, and demand that the president and the Congress turn over to them the social security and Medicare trust funds. Like the Grinch Who Stole Christmas took the very last crumb, these gangsters want to steal the very last dime of economic security from America's middle class. They want it all.
Mr. President, you have a constitutional duty to defend this country against all enemies both foreign and domestic. This insurrection, essentially a civil war grounded upon a class war by the wealthy elite against 98% of their fellow American citizens, invokes that constitutional duty to defend the Constitution and to preserve our long-cherished American principles and values.
President Abraham Lincoln was similarly confronted with a civil war over two competing economic theories, one economic theory grounded upon liberal capitalism, and the other economic theory grounded upon the brutality of slavery. By the time Lincoln took office, 11 insurrectionist Southern states had seceded from the Union and threatened war against the United States if Lincoln did not accede to their extortionary demands.
Lincoln most certainly did not want to see the insurrectionists' "hostages," the American people, harmed. He fully understood the grave consequences of rejecting the insurrectionists' demands. But Lincoln also understood that he owed a higher duty to defend the Constitution and to preserve the Union.
Sometimes war is unavoidable. There are principles and values worth fighting for and dying for, as millions of Americans have done throughout our nation's history. Lincoln rejected the insurrectionists' demands. America descended into its bloodiest war, many "hostages" (Americans) lost their lives, and we have lived with the collateral damage from the Civil War even to this day. But Lincoln fulfilled his obligation to defend the Constitution and to preserve the Union.
150 years later we are again on the precipice of a civil war over two competing economic theories, one grounded in America's founding documents for "the common defense and general welfare" of its citizens, and one alien to our American experience: a modern-day version of "absolutist corporatism" that is feudal in nature, wherein international corporations and their owners and investors (the über-rich investor class) exercise economic and political dominion across political jurisdictions and national boundaries for the financial benefit of this wealthy elite investor class. Absolutist corporatism is inapposite to the individualism of liberal capitalism in the American economic system.
The faith based supply-side "trickle down" conservative economic theory is also feudal in nature. In Medieval times, the wealthy elite accumulated unto themselves all the wealth, and in return they agreed to defend their "serfs" against attack from invading armies or marauding bands of thieves. In the modern-day "trickle-down" version, the wealthy elite accumulate unto themselves all the wealth, and through their economic largess that "trickles down" the "serfs" receive an economic benefit (the crumbs from their table, if you will).
Only today the "serfs" (American taxpayers) are paying for a powerful military to defend themselves against invading armies, and the marauding band of thieves are the über-rich investor class themselves. The "serfs" just paid for their bad gambling debts at the casino of Wall Street. They are accumulating all wealth unto themselves without any obligations to or "trickle down" economic benefit derived by the "serfs."
The civil war between these two competing economic theories must finally be resolved. Americans will not accept living under the boot of oppression from international corporate masters in service to a wealthy elite investor class. America's Founding Fathers rejected any notion of an aristocracy of inherited wealth. They were opposed to the corporatism of their day ("corporation" nowhere appears in the U.S. Constitution). They believed in individual rights and liberties in the pursuit of happiness. They adopted the individualism of liberal capitalism as the American economic system.
These well-heeled wealthy elite need to be brought to heel and reminded that this country was built upon shared sacrifice for "the common defense and general welfare" of its citizens.
Mr. President, America does not negotiate with hostage takers and extortionists. You cannot accede to the extortionary demands of these insurrectionists, even for the laudatory goal of wanting to spare the lives of their hostages, America's unemployed. Sometimes war is unavoidable. There are principles and values worth fighting for and dying for. You owe a higher duty to defend the Constitution and to preserve our long-cherished American principles and values. Like Lincoln, you must fulfill your obligation despite the cost.
One final thought. The U.S. Constitution was amended after the Civil War to end forever the brutal economic system of slavery. The U.S. Constitution must now be amended to define "personhood" as a "natural born person" for purposes of the privileges and immunities enjoyed by citizens under the U.S. Constitution.
This Amendment would end the legal fiction of "corporate personhood," a fraud perpetrated by a corporate-friendly U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad, 118 U.S. 394 (1886). For the history, read "Unequal Protection: The Rise of Corporate Dominance and the Theft of Human Rights," by Thom Hartmann. This Amendment would restore the balance of political power to the people, and could restore the right of states to charter corporations for a limited duration.
This Amendment would also reverse the false premise of the U.S. Supreme Court in Citizens United v. FEC.